Summer Community of Scholars

Who's immersed in other cultures?

Adrienne Adeyemi


In my sophomore year here at Clark, I applied and was awarded the Steinbrecher Fellowship. In the following summer I traveled to Nigeria, my father's homeland. For years I had been wanting to see this beautiful yet unknown place that I only had heard of in stories from my father. There I met all my family for the first time and stayed with them in Ibadan, Nigeria for a month. My mission in going there was to photographically document this very foreign but very familiar country. I wanted to capture images of the culture, ways of life, and scenery.I was going to shoot with digital camera but I nervously packed every kind of film camera I owned, not really knowing why. Hoping to help me in my project my uncles took me to many places each day. I went to different states within the region and within these states I walked everywhere and got to see many family friends, market places, churches, universities, zoos, factories, and farms. While I was shooting I also recorded digital audio footage of people talking and laughing, busy streets, music to us later in an audio collage. When I wasn't taken on a trip away Ibadan, I spent a lot of time with my young cousins walking the streets and exploring the community together. I naturally ended up teaching them to take pictures with my old Holga camera, as a way to bring them in on my project and make it more of a collaboration. After the trip, I entered into my junior year and for the past year I have been I worked on narrowing down, editing, printing, setting up the audio, the exhibition and the final photo book.

please click here to see my photos

I truly became an ethnographer. I came to this new place, quickly adapted to the way of life, lived with the people, laughed with the people, ate the food, went to the churches, sang the songs, walked the many streets and pathways, attracted many people with my camera, and documented everything I observed in my journey to then bring it back and present as a body of work that would be visually stimulating. For a long time I felt as though I was missing this other half of my identity, being half Nigerian. This trip was obviously a personal exploration of myself. Being in Nigeria, meeting my family there, learning the culture by living in it, connecting with these new roots and recording and then handing it on to others has meant a great deal to me.

Other Interests

Apart from concentration on photography as a Studio Art major, I am also doubling as a Screen Studio major. I am a contributing photographer and photo assistant for STIR Magazine, the school's on campus life, culture, and style magazine. At home in Providence R.I., I am a volunteer artist mentor at New Urban Arts, a not for profit community arts organization for high school students. I also enjoy playing my guitar and jamming with friends and I am also interested in creative writing.